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Texas A&M-Kingsville to hold Winter Commencement Dec. 13

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KINGSVILLE (December 13, 2019) — About 625 graduates are ready to cross the stage to receive their degrees during two commencement ceremonies to be held at the Steinke Physical Education Center at Texas A&M University-Kingsville Friday, Dec. 13.


At the 10:30 a.m. ceremony, graduates from the Dick and Mary Lewis Kleberg College of Agriculture and Natural Resources; the College of Business Administration and the Frank H. Dotterweich College of Engineering will receive their degrees


At the 2 p.m. ceremony, graduates from the College of Arts and Sciences and the College of Education and Human Performance will cross the stage.


Students receiving their master’s and doctoral degrees will be recognized within their academic colleges.


During the commencement ceremonies, Ruben A. Martinez Jr., Student Government Association president, will present the Distinguished Student Awards. Debbie Winslow, president of the Javelina Alumni Association, will officially induct the new graduates into the Javelina Alumni Association.


At the 2 p.m. ceremony, LTC Victor Diaz, professor of military science, will present Nathaniel Wyatt Estes, as he is commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the United States Army.


Two graduating students will provide the keynote speech at each of the ceremonies. Itohan Cathrine Agbonkina will be the keynote speaker at 10:30 a.m. and Theresa M. Molina will be presenting at the 2 p.m. ceremony.


Laylan Copelin, Vice Chancellor for Marketing and Communications for The Texas A&M University System brought greetings from The A&M System.


About Itohan Cathrine Agbonkina

Itohan Cathrine Agbonkina is an international student from Edo State, Nigeria. She will graduate with a bachelor’s degree in Natural Gas Engineering and minors in Mathematics and Geophysics. During her time at Texas A&M University-Kingsville, she worked as a research assistant for multiple departments including Chemical and Natural Gas Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, and Physics and Geosciences.


Her research projects included topics on drilling, hydraulic fracturing, seismic data interpretation, and computational fluid dynamics. She is a member of the National Society of Black Engineers, the Society of Exploration Geophysicists, and the American Association of Drilling Engineers.


She also served as a tutor in the Pathway Academic Assistance Center. In the spring of 2018, Agbonkina participated in the 11th Annual Javelina Research Symposium, hosted by Texas A&M-Kingsville where she won first place at the undergraduate level.


She enhanced her professional experience with two internships. In the summer of 2018, she worked as a field engineering intern with the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company in Edo State Nigeria and in the summer of 2019, she worked as a catalyst performance intern with Cummins Inc. in Columbus, Indiana. After graduation, she will join Cummins Inc. as a test engineer.


Theresa Molina

Theresa Molina serves as Junior High School Principal for Karnes City Independent School District where she works each day to grow students and staff to realize their maximum potential. Spending some time in another career field allowed Molina to remember her true passion for education and working as a servant leader.


Within the public school setting, she gained experience working in various school related positions from custodian to principal and everything in between. Molina started her career in education in Floresville Independent School District working her way up from a childcare provider, to a paraprofessional, to a teacher.


She then took a position as assistant principal for the high school in the Nixon-Smiley Consolidated Independent School District. She started her education at Palo Alto College where she earned Associate Degrees in Teaching-Generalist and Liberal Studies. Molina holds a Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies and a Master of Arts in Educational Administration both from Texas A&M University-San Antonio. 


She was awarded a Doctorate of Educational Leadership during the ceremony. Molina resides in Hobson, Texas with her family which includes her husband of 17 years, James, and her two sons, Wesley and Walker.


Laylan Copelin

Laylan Copelin is Vice Chancellor for Marketing and Communications for the Texas A&M University System. He leads the System Office of Marketing and Communications in creating strategic marketing and communications initiatives on behalf of the system offices and all member institutions of the A&M System.


Copelin serves as the system’s primary contact for marketing and communications, in addition to strategic communications advisor to the Chancellor and Board of Regents. He also facilitates the development of system-wide marketing and communications activities that focus on innovation, best practices and efficiencies in support of strategic excellence.



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